FOR DENTAL PROFESSIONALS:
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There are so many ads when it comes to whitening not only whitening the skin, which is very popular by the way in Asia, but also in whitening ones teeth. Most of these ads are promising you all sorts of things as it should, of course, so you will go out and buy them. I am not saying they are lying or committing false advertising, but, in order for one to get and maximize the tooth whitening product or treatment there are some facts or tips that one have to understand.
(1) Realistic Expectations- Do you know the most common cause of tooth whitening failure is not reaching one's expectations? In life when we unreasonably expect too much we normally feel we didn't get what we want even if we did, so, we get disappointed. And, that is true even when it comes to tooth whitening whether you do it commercially, at home or through treatment from your dentist. We are bombarded with photos of shiny and gleaming teeth from posters, ads and brochures that we get even from our dentists that we think we will have a whiter teeth exactly like that. I am not saying it is impossible but it may or may not happen. Remember, tooth whitening is a treatment and like all treatments it has idiosyncrasies specific to its effect to you as an individual. We are all not the same, thus, the result will not be the same for all. What I am saying is you got to have realistic expectations and depending on what the shade your teeth initially started with, your dental and medical history, the materials used, the duration of application and other related factors, you got to have an expectation realistic to your situation. Although, there are some basic general rules in tooth whitening. If your teeth is between yellow to brown shade, you are healthy, not more than 30 years old and don't have tolerance to hydrogen peroxide, then, more or less you will get what you expect to have. And, that is change in the shade of your teeth.
(2) What Actually Changes- Due to easier understanding and not do delve much into the scientific understanding of colors, tooth whitening is more or less mentioned in articles and ads as change of color rather than what actually changes during the process. The color of your teeth actually doesn't change, what changes is the value of that color. Value is the lightness and darkness of the color. So, for example, if the color is yellow, when you whiten it, the color is still yellow but just a lighter value of yellow, thus, it looks whiter because the saturation of yellow also becomes less. So, what does this mean? It means that in due time it will go back to its natural color probably at its original value if you don't do maintenance and correction of certain bad habits that may affect the tooth whitening you had but this doesn't mean your treatment failed.
(3) The Quality- There are numerous ways on how you can whiten your teeth. However, it is categorized into 2 Methods, the take home and in-office tooth whitening. Take Home Tooth Whitening means you apply the whitening material at home or by yourself without a dentist's supervision while doing it. It can be done using natural ingredients, over-the-counter commercially available products or via take home material prescribed to you by your dentist. An In-Office Tooth Whitening, on the other hand, is when a higher concentration of Tooth Whitening material is applied by your dentist to your teeth in your dentist's clinic or under your dentist's direct supervision during the application and time while you have it on your teeth. Whatever is your choice of method it is very critical that beyond price of what you are paying it for, you have to consider the quality of the material and treatment you are choosing to have. Quality doesn't mean automatically expensive. As we all know there are some expensive materials or even treatments out there that don't really deliver. So, quality is simply what it means quality, thus, you need to research first what materials can be considered of quality in terms of Tooth Whitening. My tip...what makes your teeth whitens is the hydrogen peroxide, so, the higher its concentration the faster your teeth will whiten but the sensitivity level also goes higher. You got to find what's suitable for you depending on the condition of your teeth. Anyway, the content of tooth whitening doesn't evolve only in hydrogen peroxide even if it is the main ingredient. What I am saying look for the other ingredients that may not be directly involve in whitening your teeth but are as much as important as the main ingredient such as fluoride and water content. Both of these will handle the sensitivity level you are going to experience during the treatment as well as the viscosity of the material itself which will give you an idea if the tooth whitening material especially if it is for take home will easily leeches out of the tray that will be inconvenient for you while wearing it and possibly swallowing the material itself that may lead to sore throat. Such things like this are important because if your experience to it is not in your liking more often than not you will probably not finish the treatment as it should.
(4) Maintenance- We all know that nothing lasts forever and that includes tooth whitening. No matter how great the material you used and healthy you are, you will continue to stain your teeth unless you have no plans of eating, drinking and simply enjoy the pleasures of life. So, you will need to maintain it in order for it to lasts as long as you want it to be. The effort of maintaining a good tooth whitening result need not to be expensive as well. It just require an effort from you and that includes healthy lifestyle. The whitening toothpastes commercially available including whitening mouthwashes as well as naturally made tooth whitening pastes or even food like strawberries' malic acid are actually ideal steps for maintenance. Depending on your budget, willingness to change your bad habits, oral hygiene and visit to your dentist, maintaining a whiter teeth is much easier and less painful in all aspects than maintaining a whiter skin.
(5) Your Dentist- Yes, folks, you need to go to a good dentist. As I've said not all things are created equal and choosing a good dentist that's right for you is not an exception. You need to find a dentist who do understand Tooth Whitening process and not at the same level as your own understanding of it. A great give away is if your dentist did whitening on his/her own teeth. How can you trust someone if they don't practice what they preach? You need to have a dentist that is knowledgeable on the subject and did the treatment on his/her own teeth. Why? Because, although, dentists are basically trained professionals they can't know everything as well. And, not knowing that it is a treatment that may harm you and not just for beautification purposes is someone you need to avoid having this treatment done. One way of knowing is by trying and a dentist who promotes this need not only have the knowledge academically about it but by personal experience as well. When they know exactly how it feels and the pitfalls of it, they have better empathy in guiding you on how to do it right. It defines those who are just interested in your buck.
Tooth Whitening is truly something that can give you so many wonderful things but, most of all, it will give you the confidence to smile and have something to smile about. And, through that wonderful smile, you have gone the first step of successfully communicating with others...leading to a positive time and way of life. You just got to do it right.